This story is taken from the book Wings as Eagles (pgs. 406-408) by Rev. David Underwood, pastor of The Life Church in Shelby, N.C.. Wings as Eagles; Using the Winds of Heaven to Soar is a collection of Bro. Underwood’s messages over a period of years and is one of the most spiritually rich books I have ever read. It can be purchased through the link on our home page.
This is a story that was brought to my attention some time ago:
A violinist, on a cold January morning in 2007
Played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes
At the Metro Station in Washington, DC.
During that time approximately two thousand people
Went through the station…
Most of them on their way to work.
After three minutes…
A middle-aged man noticed there was a musician playing.
He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds.
He then hurried to meet his schedule.
After four minutes…
The violinist received his first dollar:
A woman threw the money in the till,
And without stopping, continued her walk.
After six minutes…
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him,
Then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
After ten minutes…
A three-year-old boy stopped
But his mother tugged him along hurriedly
As the kid stopped to look at the violinist.
Finally the mother pushed hard and the child
Continued to walk, turning his head all the time.
This action was repeated by several other children.
Every parent, without exception,
Forced them to move on.
After forty-five minutes….
The musician played.
Only six people stopped and stayed for awhile.
About 20 gave him money
But continued to walk their normal pace.
He collected $32.00
After an hour….
He finished playing and silence took over.
No one noticed.
No one applauded,
Nor was their any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell
One of the best musicians in the world.
He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written,
with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Just two days before….
Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston
Where seats averaged $100.00.
Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station
Was organized by the Washington Post…
A social experiment about perception, taste,
And peoples priorities.
The questions raised:
In a common place environment
At an inappropriate hour…
Do we perceive beauty?
Do we appreciate it?
Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached
From this experiment could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen
To one of the best musicians in the world…
Playing some of the finest music ever written
With one of the most beautiful instruments…
How many other things are we missing?
What especially caught my attention
In the story were the chidren:
They heard the sound.
One of the children
As he was forced to walk….
Kept turning his head all the time…
He heard the sound.
Children have keen perceptions.
As should the children of God!
Can we perceive the presence
of the Lord in our lives?
As we are rushed through this life
At a fast pace….
And the things of this world
Tugging us along hurriedly..
Do we have the perception
To perceive that “still small voice”?